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Reinventing Conferencing

What kind of a world will you live in three years from now? How about five? Will your personal robot pour you a drink after your self-driving car delivers you home? That’s where we’re headed, and it’s a pretty quick trip: self-driving cars are already on public roads and you’ll soon be able to buy that humanoid robot.

Cisco’s Collaboration team thinks a lot about the future—not just about how we’ll get around and get our drinks, but about how we’ll connect and collaborate. We’re passionate about the future of collaboration, about giving the world collaboration tools that are every bit as smart as those self-driving cars and whiskey-pouring robots.

Where we’re at: today’s challenges
Before we talk more about the future, let’s talk about where the industry is right now. Over the years, various vendors have given us audio conferencing, web conferencing, and video conferencing. Each of these technologies were introduced at different times, and have matured at different paces—with audio being the tried-and-true veteran, video conferencing the relative newcomer and web being the thing that came somewhere in-between.

Herein lies the problem: Read More »

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Gartner Recognizes Cisco as a Leader in Unified Communications…Again

For the seventh year in a row Cisco was positioned as a leader in the August 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications. In the accompanying Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications document, published July 2014, Cisco also received the highest ratings in Full UC with Strong Telephony and Ability to Offer Hybrid Solutions use cases. We believe our continued recognition in these key industry assessments demonstrates that the focus on simplicity and user experience across the Cisco Collaboration portfolio is delivering our customers the productivity gains they are looking for through a collaboration experience that only Cisco can deliver.

According to Gartner,  “The primary goal of unified communications (UC) is to improve user productivity and to enhance business processes. Gartner defines UC products (equipment, software and services) as those that facilitate the use of multiple enterprise communications methods to obtain that goal…UC products integrate communications channels (media), networks and systems, as well as IT business applications and, in some cases, consumer applications and devices.” Cisco shares this vision for UC and continues to deliver key innovations and integrations to ensure our customers are clearly benefiting from the full suite of Cisco’s leading  telephony, video , web conferencing , messaging , IM/P and contact center offerings.

In the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications, Gartner once again positioned Cisco as a leader for ability to execute and completeness of vision.  The report identifies strengths and cautions for individual vendors and we feel the strengths for Cisco UC offering are: Read More »

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Finding Simplicity in Complex Video Installations

While it sounds too good to be true, it can be simple to build seemingly complicated video installations. Like a custom-built house, you can build video-collaboration rooms to specification. And custom doesn’t always have to mean complex. Cisco is helping organizations do that today by creating a solution with powerful codecs, intelligent imaging technology, and flexible software.

I’m often asked how to quickly build training or briefing rooms with presenters on both ends. People usually ask about a briefing room with 24 classroom seats or a 100-seat training room. They typically have three key requirements:

  • Local presenter or when the presenter is in the room
  • Remote presenter or when the presenter is calling in
  • Interactive discussion between different sites with local presenter at the podium

FH video blog post SX80 8_4_14

This requires multiple screens, Read More »

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Quick, Simple and Flexible Can Go Hand in Hand

As video technology becomes more prevalent in both the consumer and business worlds, employees expect to find it in more places in the work environment. These days, it’s not uncommon to walk into a conference room and see a table surrounded by people using their laptops to watch a speaker or presentation from another location.

Cost and complication prevented many organizations from deploying video beyond the large rooms and executive suite. That’s no longer the case. Today, you can take advantage of existing equipment to bring two-way video to rooms that previously had only basic displays on the wall.

Quick Set products like SX10 and SX20 are a cost-effective alternative solution that provides the necessary parts without the higher cost of AV integrations or traditional integrated video conferencing systems.

We recently added the SX10 to our Cisco TelePresence SX Series line of solution products, which together with SX20 make up Quick Set solutions for video-enabling existing traditional meeting rooms. These two products are an affordable way to take advantage of your existing displays or monitors to deliver intelligent, high-definition videoconferencing. You can achieve sophisticated video collaboration experiences with flexibility for easy integration into many different types of rooms.

Extending your current display investments with a SX Quick Set video solution can offer the following benefits: Read More »

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Exceptional Collaboration Gets Personal

Not too long ago, I was digging around in some old boxes and pulled out my old Motorola RAZR phone, along with a surprising number of other devices I used to carry around. What can I say? I’m a geek. In addition to my phone, I had a digital camera, a notepad & digital pen, an iPod, a GPS, a few spare memory cards and even a Palm Pilot. It struck me that in handful of years everything has changed. All the things I needed those devices for now exist in my smartphone – making my life simpler and easier. Peter Diamandis calls it dematerialization; I call it simplification, and use it as a backdrop for our collaboration technology strategy.

The ability of technology to simplify our experiences inspired our mission: to make collaboration simple. Consider that for all the promise of today’s collaboration technologies to make our lives easier, we are often frustrated by the fact that the most advanced products can’t seem to do the simplest of things; starting a meeting on time, connecting me with anyone anywhere, or allowing me to share my stuff easily. While technology companies race around to one-up each other introducing the next whiz-bang feature, they mostly overlook the one essential: what their product should do really well.

I joined Cisco with the purpose of delivering on this mission and bringing exceptional collaboration technology to everyone, everywhere: every room, every desk, and every pocket. The results of this focus have started to materialize in a set of announcements we started a few months back.

In March, we introduced the products that bring collaboration into every room in the enterprise: the SX10, MX200, MX700, and MX800 endpoints. These products are all about great collaboration experiences: engagement, simplicity, affordability – and award-winning design.

Today, we bring these elements to every desk with the Cisco DX80. It’s time to provide every worker—not just executives—with the tools that let everyone collaborate at a moment’s notice, without technology hassles. Read More »

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